Coloured contact lenses: try something new!
What Are The Best Tinted Contact Lenses?
There are plenty of reasons to consider coloured contact lenses. For anyone who has ever dreamed of having a different eye colour, coloured contact lenses offer a fast and effective way to transform your appearance. Perhaps you're tired of the same-old look, and want to try something new. Coloured lenses are a great way to reinvent your personal style. Or maybe you're planning a wild costume for a party or event, and want to look as bold and dramatic as you can. You can choose from countless styles and patters, like cat eyes or black-outs. Blend in, or stand out, however you choose to look, coloured lenses can make it happen.
When choosing coloured lenses, the first thing you'll need to decide is the shade that you're looking for. The natural colour of your eyes does not matter in this decision and you can choose from subtle options like green, blue, hazel and brown, or more striking tones like bright blue or violet. Most coloured contact lenses are generally designed to match the natural appearance of the iris, incorporating small lines and dots to create a graduated and varied effect.
Most standard (non coloured) contact lenses come with a ` visibility tint`, which is usually a light blue or green tint added to a lens, solely to help you see it better during insertion and removal — or if you drop it. Since it`s a very light tint, it does not affect eye colour, or your perception of the world at all.
Coloured lenses that are meant to look natural use a pattern of dots and lines, mixing several colours together in a ring, with a clear area at the center. The pattern and intensity of the dots governs the appearance of the lenses on your eye. The coloured part covers your iris, and the clear part lies over your pupil, allowing you to see through the lens. It's possible for the lens to shift when blinking, temporarily moving a coloured section of the lens over your iris, and interfering with your vision. The lens should correct it self quickly, but it may be momentarily inconvenient. Also, in very dark environments, as your pupil expands to allow more light to enter your eye, it may expand beyond the clear center and out into the coloured ring, which may also impact your vision.
Nearly all contact lenses have a mild colour added to them, sometimes called a “visibility tint”. Usually green or blue, this is used only to make the lenses more visible while handling, and easier to spot if you drop them on the bathroom counter. Once they are on your eyes, they make no change to your natural eye colour, and don't affect your perception of colour.
When making your decision, consider that coloured lenses will cost more than standard contacts designed just for vision correction. For lenses you only plan on wearing occasionally, this cost won't be much of a difference, but if you plan to wear them frequently, or even every day, the cost will add up over time.
Types Of Coloured Lenses
Once you've spoken to your eye car practitioner about your needs, and what kind of lenses you're looking to purchase, her or she may give you some recommendations. To make choosing a bit easier, you can break down all of the available options into several distinct categories.
- Prescription colour contact lenses – Lenses designed to correct your vision related problems, like nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism, as well as enhance or alter your natural eye colour.
- Plano colour contact lenses - Lenses worn solely for cosmetic purposes. They are designed to change your eye colour, but have no lens power for vision correction.
- Enhancement tint contact lenses - Lenses with a solid, yet partially translucent colouring that is slightly darker than a visibility tint. They are meant to enhance the natural colour of your eyes, and work best for people who with light-coloured eyes who wish to make their eye colour more intense.
- Opaque tint contact lenses – Lenses with a non-transparent tint that can completely change your natural eye colour. If you have dark eyes, it's recommended that you use this type of lens to change your eye colour, as lighter or transparent colourings might be overpowered by dark eyes.
- Tinted contact lenses – Lenses that are coloured not for cosmetic reasons, but for the purpose of altering the wearers vision. Usually green or blue, these are most popular with athletes, or people who spend a lot of time outside. Think of them as sunglasses, only contact lenses.
Below are some of the lenses we recommend most. Some of them are meant to be worn once and then disposed, others can be worn for 30 days before replacement. Whichever style lens you choose, be sure to follow proper care procedures.
- Freshlook Colourblends – Our most popular coloured contacts, these use a 3-in-1 color pattern that makes the lenses seem incredibly natural. A good example of a lens that can alter the colour of a lighter coloured eye, or enhance the colour of a darker eye. Ideal for people looking to change their eye color while still blending in. If matched properly to hair color and skin tone, you can look like your eye color of choice was what you were born with.
- Air Optix colours – From the same manufacturer as the Freshlook Colourblends, the primary difference is the lens material. By using a modern silicone hydrogel, six times as much oxygen is able to pass right through the lens, and into your eye. This helps keep them feeling healthy and fresh, reducing the likelihood of irritation or infection.
- Freshlook One Day - Freshlook One Day daily coloured contact lenses combine the comfort and performance of the best Seller Focus Dailies All Day Comfort contact lenses with the cosmetic appeal of Freshlook Colourblends. If you wear focus daily lenses contact lenses you can now change your eye colour on a daily basis! They are available in Blue, green, pure hazel and grey.
- Freshlook Colours and Soflens Natural Colours - If your eyes are naturally dark in color, or if you want a more dramatic effect, these are the lenses for you. Dark eyes tend to overpower partially translucent coloured lenses, and require an opaque colouring to make a noticeable change.
- Freshlook Dimensions – A great option for coloured lenses designed to enhance or change light eye colours for a beautiful natural look. These lenses, however, will be much less effective on darker eyes.
The options available
As well as the colour and design of your contact lenses, you'll also need to decide on how long you want the lenses to last and how often you wish to remove them for cleaning. Disposable contact lenses are manufactured from special materials that allow oxygen to permeate through the lens to the surface of the eye. Depending on the type of material used to manufacture the contacts, they can be worn for a single day, for example Freshlook 1 Day coloured lenses, or even a month without being removed.
Be sure to follow the instructions carefully, as wearing a pair of disposable lenses for longer than they were designed to be used can result in infections or other problems.
Of course, if you require corrective coloured contact lenses, you'll want to ensure you get a pair that caters for your vision correction needs. Options available include lenses that treat myopia, hypermetropia and astigmatism. If your vision is perfect, you can get plano lenses, which don't provide any correction at all.
Dos and Don'ts
Like any other type of contact lens, you need to follow a set of precautions in order to keep your eyes healthy, and minimize any risk of injury or infection. Follow the guidelines listed below, and you're unlikely to have any problems.
- Don't - share your coloured lenses with any one. Lenses are fit specifically for the eyes of the person they are prescribed to, and are very unlikely to fit another person's eyes. Even more importantly, the risk of eye infection skyrockets when lenses are shared between people.
- Do – Take proper care of your lenses. Follow the instructions given by the manufacturer, and only wear them as long as they were intended. Dailies should be disposed of when taken out, and monthlies should be replaced at 30 days. Wearing lenses longer than prescribed can cause health risks, and reduce the quality of vision.
- Don't - Wear contact lenses if your eyes are sore or irritated. These may be symptoms of a serious problem, and wearing contacts may make the problem even worse. If the irritation doesn't go away after a day or two, consult your eye care practitioner.
- Do - Make sure you enjoy your new look. If not, change it! There's no point in sticking with a lens you don't think looks good on you. You decided to try colored lenses to feel better about your appearance, so don't settle for anything less than perfect.
- Don't - Use your contact lenses for a longer period of time that is recommended for the lens. A daily lens should be disposed of every day, a monthly lens every month.
Getting coloured contact lenses
No matter what kind of lenses you're looking for, you should first get a thorough eye examination. Your eye care professional will determine whether you need prescriptive lenses and they can also discuss the different options to ensure that your eyes stay healthy and comfortable. Once you're ready to start shopping, we are the perfect choice. Our website makes it easy for you to make a purchase from the comfort of home and we offer a fabulous range of contacts for you to choose from.
Author: John Dreyer Optometrist Bsc(Hons), MCOPTOM, DipCLP
Created: 3 Jun 2016, Last modified: 15 Feb 2020